The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

Woo+Tablev0.7.png (902 KB)

Yes, another periodic table.
Science, Reason and Critical Thinking

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    Now while this is made of goodness and awesome, why they gotta include zombies under Paranormal / Supernatural? As a zombie enthusiast I am not pleased at all. The explanation behind the T virus was pretty clever and it sounded like something that could definitely happen. Besides don’t they have semi zombies in the Caribbean at the sugar plantations? STOP BURSTING MY DREAMS. And if anyone decides to poke fun at my dreams I’ll get all metaphorical on your ass and make references to how this generation is practically as good as zombified anyway. I’ll call them sheeple too and… Read more »


    I was about to comment on my belief in chi, ranting about experience and the nature of empiricism, but then I remembered that this is the internet. I’ll come back when I have objective data instead of just subjective experiences.

    God, if everyone had this attitude….


    On the Internet? Let’s assume you had a wife and you believed that your love for her was real, would you honestly feel inclined to talk about it with strangers on the Internet? I’m not saying your love for your hypothetical wife can’t be real by the way, just that this attitude is to be expected, and rightly so.


    Which is why I’m not ranting.


    this comes from one extreme. faith healing and that sort of thing come from the other extreme. reality is somewhere in the middle.

    The Matrix: Rebooted

    What? NO. Science is science because it matches reality to the best of our ability to observe it. This isn’t a political or philosophical argument where there is a sane middle ground. Either you back up your claims with verifiable experiment and observation or its woo.


    What about things that are (potentially) true but have yet to have been verified? Where does string theory, fibromyalgia, neanderthal contribution to Homo sapian genome and such fit in your model?


    If many members of the medical community do not consider fibromyalgia a real disease, why does the FDA approve drugs to fight it?

    fracked again

    String theory is a bit out there, but still science.
    Fibromyalgia is a mess because the actual disorder is hard to define and diagnose.
    Neanderthal genes in modern humans is very likely, but needs more study. Definitely science.

    The Matrix: Rebooted

    I would say that string theory is not currently science because it has yet to produce a testable hypothesis. Neanderthal DNA in modern humans is pretty well documented at this point, see the work of Svante Paabo. Fibromyalgia, I don’t know.

    Luke Magnifico

    Labelling legitimate belief systems as nonsense is inflammatory and irrational in itself.


    i suppose the word up for pointless debate here is “legitimate”


    Absence of proof, is not proof of absence.

    The Matrix: Rebooted

    The burden of proof lies with those that make extraordinary claims.


    Our statements are not contradictory.

    Re-phrasing of your argument to say:
    “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof,”. would find me mostly agreeable on probabilistic grounds. Though, the difficulty of determining a priori of probabilities is a serious drawback.

    Were you to to further agree to change “extraordinary proof” to “strict standard of ordinary good science and replicability ” I would be wholly in agreement.

    The Matrix: Rebooted

    I submit for your consideration a few more items to be added to the table:
    Extraterrestrial Intelligence
    Universal Assembler Nanomachines
    Practical fusion power
    Faster-than-light travel
    Human-level Artificial Intelligence

    It amazes me that after decades of research, none of these are any closer to being achieved or demonstrated, yet many otherwise intelligent people act like they will be inevitable.


    Well, reaching “Human-level Artificial Intelligence” pretty much depends on the human you pick, right? Lots of humans I know aren’t nearly as clever as the average labrador.


    Practival fusion power exists very well today. My solar-powered calculator works just fine.


    I gotta disagree. All of the above is feasible, but not in the short span of time that people often claim. The Universe is huge, and while I don’t expect to ever see it, in fact I suspect we will be extinct before we find any, I still think it’s out there, somewhere. Faster than light travel over non-trivial distances could be tricky, as our current understanding of physics doesn’t allow that, at least without using huge amounts of energy. (for the more trivial, experiments have already moved data at FTL, at least compared to light in the same medium.)… Read more »



    Also, ear candles are science. Not wonderfully useful science, but genuine science all the same, and therefore don’t belong on a list of such otherwise absolute nonsense.

    fracked again

    Its scientific that they don’t get ear wax out of your ears and can cause injury, and they certainly don’t get rid of bad juju.


    The ear candles I’ve seen pull a lot of wax from your ears. Bad juju can go on the list of nonsense though.


    Is chiropractic still considered bollocks? I know it was at one time, but I was under the impression it had gained some legitimacy.


    It has gained legitimacy in that all sorts of people go to them and gain what appears to be non-psychosomatic relief. The science that says that what they do OUGHT to work is kinda shaky though.

    fracked again

    Nothing works well for lower back pain, and chiropractic is right in the middle of the list.

    “Straight” or traditional chiropractors are complete quacks. “Mixer” chiropractors are basically physical therapists and are mostly OK.


    Bigfoot isn’t that outrageous a belief. An extremely rare primate stomping around the large expanses of deep forest we have in this country that hasn’t yet been captured alive or dead is possible. But, there are a lot of hoaxes out there, so take everything with a critical eye.


    So if I bombard Scientology with Psychics I get Nostradamus?